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Author Topic: robotic pill to swallow  (Read 4030 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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robotic pill to swallow
« on: February 16, 2007, 11:47:19 AM »
This doesnt fit in your normal robot definition, but still interesting to note.

Back when I used to do research at the Nano-Robotics Lab at CMU, I would often hear people talk about these swallowable pills that would crawl around in your stomach and intestines to take pictures helpful to doctors.

The reasoning was, if it could crawl, it could go directly to the area of interest in your body, and a doctor can stare at the video as long as he would like.

However, what if you can just take a 360 degree panorama of your insides and wirelessly store it in a PC for later viewing? No need to crawl, and thats what this pill made by Sayaka does here:


(its in japanese, but mostly obvious just by the pictures)

Oh, and why is this robotics related? Well, the camera rotates by use of a stepper motor, and images taken at 30hz are pieced together using SLAM techniques.

sucks to be the doctor that has to retrieve the pill after it comes out . . .

Offline ed1380

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 03:10:58 PM »
wow. pretty cool. How much memory does it need to hold all thsoe pictures.
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 03:25:07 PM »
hmmmm I cant read the Japanese so this is just a guess, but Im sure it is wirelessly transmitting the images to a much larger device the patient wears externally.

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 08:38:34 PM »
I wasn't paying to much attention, I'll see if I can decifer any thing...

Offline Hal9000

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2007, 05:19:11 AM »
Surely this thing is about 20 years in the future
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Offline dunk

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 05:59:30 AM »
Quote
Surely this thing is about 20 years in the future
so using cell phone technology i don't see why it couldn't be made now.
cell phones allready have teeny cameras capable of transmitting the pictures to remote stations.

the biggest problem i see them having to overcome is battery life.
no point making a pill size camera unit if you have to swallow a hulking great battery pack too.

unless the thing is powered by an electromagnetic field outside the body that is converted to power by the pill.
(basically having the primary transformer coil outside the body and the secondary inside the pill.)
i didn't see anything that looked like a battery in the diagram they showed but there were a lot of copper coils. i bet this is how they plan to do it.

dunk.

Offline Hal9000

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 06:54:40 AM »
Depends how small it is, also.

Imagine a pill. It is at most 15mm and 7mm in diameter.

The flash/lighting alone would kill the application.

Is it wireless? That's the big limiting factor too.
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: robotic pill to swallow
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2007, 08:04:16 AM »
its extremely difficult to build a battery that works at that size - as the battery size decreases linearly, the power density decreases by the cube (volume is cubic)

im with dunk, i think its magnetic induction . . . but not entirely sure how they did it or if they even got it to work yet . . .

 


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